Two days after chief minister Prithviraj Chavan ordered a special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the alleged malpractices in the city’s dumping grounds projects worth Rs 9,500 crore, a closer look at the chronology of events reveals that the controversies surrounding the Deonar dumping ground date back to even before its approval.
Right from the contractor being declared technically unfit to handle a project of this scale to the civic standing panel scrapping and then approving it without any precedent, the project was mired in controversies.
The consultant appointed to help the civic body, IL&FS had, in May 2008, written to the civic body stating clearly that the two companies which had participated in the bid — UPL, which finally won the contract, and Ramky enviro engineers -- had failed to qualify technically.
Despite this, the BMC persisted and decided to ‘re-evaluate’ these companies. “This time, the BMC changed the marking patterns, going against the pattern specified in the contract,” said a civic official, who was part of the solid waste management department then.
As a result, UPL qualified. This meant that only one bidder qualified for the next round. Even here, the practice of not awarding contracts to cases where there was single bid was junked.
A civic official said, “It is so shocking that procedural precautions which we would have taken even for a Rs 10 crore tender were ignored in a tender as big as this.”
“We reject these allegations outright and maintain that a transparent and fair process of evaluation was followed,” UPL sources said.
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani declined to comment.